Mozart’s Requiem

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Mozart’s birth house stands over a shopping mall © Southampton Old Lady

I love Mozart to the point that I went with my husband to Salzburg last year to visit his birth house and family house. Everything in Salzburg evolves around Mozart.

Last night, we went to listen to over 150 people performing Mozart’s Requiem at Southampton’s Guildhall – by the Southampton Philharmonic Choir. It is wonderful to listen to such events like this in my city and to be able to support live music.

My husband tells me he would like part of Mozart’s Requiem played at his  funeral – Dies Irae. Most people like the Lacrimosa but my favourite parts are Rex, but mainly Confutatis

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Everything in Salzburg revolves around Mozart

Unfortunately I have no video or images of the Southampton Philharmonic Choir but you can click on this excellent YouTube link.

There is so much written about Mozart and his Requiem that if you are interested you can do an online search. I wish to commend the 1984 American period drama film Amadeus directed by Miloš Forman, adapted by Peter Shaefer from his stage play of the same name, for reviving peoples interest in Mozart.

Surabaya Johnny – Dagmar Krause

Lost in the Stars - a tribute to Kurt Weill
Lost in the Stars – a tribute to Kurt Weill

For my Music Monday this week click on: Surabaya Johnny sung by Dagmar Krause.  Krause also performed this on the album Lost in the Stars  a tribute to Kurt Weill.

As a fan of Kurt Weill, this is one of my favourite albums, with contributions from artistes around the world including British ones such as Sting and Marianne Faithful.

This song is from the three-act musical comedy Happy End  by Kurt Weill, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Bertolt Brecht.  The trio wrote this after their success of The Threepenny Opera, which were both performed during the late 1920s, just before the depression at the Theatre am Schiffbauerdamm  in Berlin.

Dagmar Krause a German singer, has a unique voice, which lends itself to the type of tragic ballads sung in Berlin Cabaret.

 

 

Music Monday: Volare!

For my Music Monday click on the links for two versions of the popular song Volare!

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Simon and Ted (the Song-a-minute-man)

Domenico Modugno should have won the Eurovision song contest for Italy in 1958 with the first ever rendition of this song that has become a cult classic. That year it was won by France with the unmemorable “Dors, mon amour”. Italy stopped taking part in the Eurovision song contest.

Volare! chorus i Italian and English:

Volare, oh oh…                        Flying, oh oh…

Cantare, ohohoho…               Singing, ohohoho…

Nel blu degli occhi tuoi blu   In the blue of your blue eyes

Felice di stare quaggiù            Happy to be down here

There have been too many cover versions of Volare! to mention, but my favourite has to be by Dean Martin. A more recent cover is by the Song-a-Minute-Man Ted McDermott with his carpool karaoke version with his son Simon. 80 year-old Ted, who used to be a Butlins red-coat in England, suffers with dementia. He remembers all the words to so many songs which keeps him in company with others, and their carpool posts on YouTube have gone viral. Now Ted has a contract with Abby Road to record his voice. This is not his song of his playlist – but I love it – it really makes me happy.

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Those Were The Days-

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Now a Nightclub called Lennon’s, this place in Onslow Road Southampton used to be The Onslow Pub. As a child I played with Susan the daughter of the landlord in the flat above. Then when I went to Art College I used to go along with friends to listen to the Bob Pearce Blues Band – Bob used to do his duckwalk along the bar and knock people’s drinks over. It was popular with students and throughout the punk era we used to discuss politics and think we were sorting out the world. Those were the days!

 

Whenever I pass by Lennon’s Bar in Onslow Road in Southampton, I think of the song “Those Were the Days”.  So for my Music Monday today, I present 5 different versions, so click on any of the underlined blue names to hear a YouTube track with video:

I first heard the song sung by Mary Hopkin when it went to No1 in the UK Charts in 1968. The Welsh folk-singer was one of the first to record on The BeatlesApple label and it was produced by Paul McCartney. The words on this version are credited to Gene Raskin.

However the tune was originally from an old Russian folk song called “By the Long Road” (Dorogoi Dlinnoyu). Composed by Boris Fomin with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevsky. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism. So more-or less about the same thing and why it haunts me. The most popular version sung in Russian, is by Sergey Lazarev.  The first recording of the song was made by Alexander Vertinsky in 1926.

After the Berlin wall came down in November 1989, I went to visit some British and American friends of mine working in Berlin. We went to a nightclub in East Berlin and Those were the Days by Mary Hopkin was played repeatedly after every few records.

Later in 1992, while I was working on the Algarve in Portugal, I went to a festival in Portimão and saw The Leningrad Cowboys, a Finnish rock band, perform their version in English. If you click on their name the short video that accompanies it is a real treat.

I think my favourite version has to be by The Paganini Duo, a gypsy band in Australia who play the traditional folk version with a violin.

A more recent cover, is sung movingly by  Cynthia Lennon  with a backdrop of Beatles photos. So, we have come full circle now to Lennon‘s – I doubt if you will find me in the club now, but “those were the days”.

 

Music Monday: Girls Want

TT & Zara L

For my Music Monday this week click: here

— for a Nº1 performance on The Jonathon Ross Show (ITV, Great Britain), of “Girls Like” by English rapper Tinie Tempah featuring the amazing Zara Larsson.

I think the young Swedish singer has a unique voice which she can belt out with little effort, while Tinie’s really complements hers on his track (and visa versa). This has to be my favourite dance song this year.

(Published on YouTube on April 2nd 2016).

Brexit – Price Tag

Jessie Jay

For my Music Monday post today I am giving a nudge to Brexit and Anti-Globalisation and posting a YouTube video of Jessie J at The Isle of Wight Festival 2012 performing Price Tag.

It’s not about the kerching-ching-ching-ching

Panis Angelicus – Cèsar Franck

Milla Jovovich as Joan of Arc in 'The Messenger'
Milla Jovovich as Joan of Arc in ‘The Messenger’

 

Music Monday  – Third in my series where I put in a link (two here) to a piece of  music that leaves me thinking. Press the word ‘clip’ to hear the appropriate version mentioned in the text.

I would like Cèsar Franck‘s Panis Angelicus played at my funeral.

I love every version, and it is sung by many, from Renée Fleming to Andrea Bocelli.  I was moved when the BBC documentary  “Pavarotti: A Life in Seven Arias” showed Luciano Pavarotti and his father, Fernando, sing it, as they did regularly, as a duet in Modena Cathedral in 1978 clip

But, then I saw the film The Messenger about Joan of Arc (1999).  The aria is played while the Maid of Orleans,  in full armour, leads her army into battle on horseback. It was the most moving version I have ever heard. I later discovered that this emotional rendition was sung by Charlotte Church.  Sony has released neither the film, nor the soundtrack on DVD. But I found this  clip of Charlotte, that talent Welsh angel, singing it on her 13th birthday.

Panis Angelicus written by St Thomas Aquinas (Music composed by Cèsar Franck in 1872)

Panis angelicus
fit panis hominum;
Dat panis cœlicus
figuris terminum:
O res mirabilis!
Manducat Dominum
Pauper, servus et humilis.

Te trina Deitas
unaque poscimus:
Sic nos tu visita,
sicut te colimus;
Per tuas semitas
duc nos quo tendimus,
Ad lucem quam inhabitas.
Amen.

May the Bread of Angels
Become bread for mankind;
The Bread of Heaven puts
All foreshadowings to an end;
Oh, thing miraculous!
This body of God will nourish
the poor, the servile, and the humble.

You God, Three
And One, we beseech;
That You visit us,
As we worship You.
By Your ways,
lead us where we are heading,
to the light that You inhabitest.
Amen